Shay wrote on the topic: "what's your hardest number when having kids?" this week (last week!) and I thought it was fun, so I decided to write my own post on the subject.
This post was meant for Tuesday (last Tuesday!).
My master blog plan was to do What's Up Wednesday for Wednesday, and Friday Favorites for today, but suffice it to say it's been a hard week. Yay for goals - the incompletion of them has a lot to do with this post and "what my number" is!
I always wanted to be a mom. I loved playing dolls and started naming my children in elementary school (obviously my taste changed by the time I actually had kids since my daughters aren't named Tiffani (aka Kelly Kapowski and Stephanie (as in Tanner) and Joe (as in McIntire) - those of you who get this, you are my people.). Actually having children was a lot different than I could have imagined.
First of all, it didn't just happen like we thought it would. You can read about each of my second trimester miscarriages here and here. Children truly are a blessing from the Lord - we learned this through suffering and loss. The other morning, I came across this in my Bible - I read a psalm a day each morning at the beginning of my time with the Lord.
On July 27, 2009, the due date of my first baby, I "just happened" to be on Psalm 127. What an encouragement from the Lord, but it took faith to believe this was true. So on that day back in 2009, I noted it with Tristan's due date forcing myself in ink to memorialize this promise even though the "what ifs" still hung in the air. Then as I came across it during the first year of each of my kids' lives, I got to write out God's faithfulness and his promise fulfilled to us in Seth, Avery, and Susannah. I love seeing each birth date written in my Bible every time I read that passage. He's Always Been Faithful.
I know that no matter if you have children or not that this verse is true, and I'm aware that not all have the same ending to this part of their story as I do, but I've learned through the suffering of these two losses that the reward is in the wait, the reward is Him whom we're waiting with. The children are a blessing absolutely, but the ultimate blessing is God Himself who draws us in and binds us to Himself when we need Him the most.
So when I found out that I was pregnant with Seth, we were elated. After losing Tristan, I was more aware of what a gift he was than I probably would've been and hoped that the Lord would use that to help us through the sleepless nights. Thankfully he was a very peaceful baby, but we had some issues with nursing, and I struggled with some post-partum baby blues (and we were in the final planning stages of moving to Scotland), so as you may have guessed, I was slightly overwhelmed.
Emotionally going from 0 to 1 was the hardest. Seth rocked our world, and redefined our family. There were growing pains to be sure, but the Lord used his birth and our move overseas to shape our family.
We struggled about when to have baby 3. We went back and forth on the timing (should we wait till after we're done in Scotland? But we want them close in age... etc etc). Finally one of our friends who has 8 kids told us, "it's never the right time." And that sealed the deal. William was on the way - due exactly 2 days before Avery's second birthday. Soon into my pregnancy, we heard the news that he wouldn't make it to term. Again the Lord was faithful to hold and to heal.
After hearing from the doctor that William's short life wasn't due to any genetic concerns, we were given the go ahead for more children, and Susannah Mackenzie was soon on the way.
I'll let you guess what our hardest number is by looking at that picture...
While going from 0-1 was hardest emotionally, going from 2-3 has been hardest life adjustment. Emotionally not so hard, but physically and logistically running a household with 3 kiddos born in the span of 4 years = Crazytown a lot of the time.
This little girl has rocked our little world. She is the cutest little toot, but man is she busy! Turn your back for 2 seconds and she's stealing big brother's valentine chocolate, climbing up the bunk bed ladder, jumping off the coffee table, I could go on and on. Her namesake warned me that once we had 3, there would be no time to myself. I didn't believe her then, but I have learned. 3=NO time. I feel like a sherpa and a cat herder, but I wouldn't have it any other way!
(Susannah's behind me in her cute smocked dress lying on the floor post tantrum refusing to get in the picture...)
And since it's already nuts over here...should we add one more to the party? Jury's still out :)